In this work, we synthesized free-standing disk-shaped gels (FGPEI) from the chemical cross-linking of linear polyethyleneimine (LPEI), and investigated their crystalline features in gel state and templating function in mineralizations of silica and titania. It was found that the FGPEIs with different cross-linkers and different cross-linking degrees showed remarkable crystalline properties in water containing state but became amorphous in the swollen state in methanol. This is reversible by alternating the medium of water and methanol. The crystalline domains in the FGPEI were estimated by XRD as in the ranges of 3.0~11 nm. Immersion of the disk-shaped FGPEIs in tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) solutions spontaneously resulted in the corresponding hybrids SiO2/FGPEIs keeping the same disk shape with silica content of 63%. Calcinating the hybrids could tune them into monolith silica with mesoporous structure consisting of nanoparticle (ca. 20 nm) agglomeration. On the other hand, immersion of the FGPEI in tetraisopropyloxy titanium solution offered hybrid of TiO2/FGPEI but only with ca. 14% content of TiO2. However, calcination of this hybrid at different temperatures could result in monolith titania possessing mesopore and/or macropore structures inside with agglomeration of anatase- and/or rutile-type nanoparticles.
Colloid Polymer Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 27, 2017
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